Silent Sorority Gratitude and a Look Ahead to a New Generation

Thanksgiving gets all the attention and big league association with gratitude, but it’s the quiet, daily acknowledgement of thanks that actually serves us best.

That’s one reason I want you to know that not a day goes that I don’t give thanks for the friendship, insights and kindness of all those who have taken the time — over the past nearly eight years — to drop by and share here (and, previously at Coming2Terms).

In today’s noisy, fast-paced world of social media with ‘drop in and out’ online communities, 24/7 news feeds and in-the-moment shares, likes and RTs, blogging, well … it can feel so last century. Wouldn’t you agree?  It’s harder and harder to find time to settle in and move through the blogroll. And, who hasn’t laboriously typed comments on smart phones or tablets only to have them disappear into the ether?

Many other long-time readers are in different places in their lives. I totally get it.  (If you’re still out there and reading, no need for a long comment, feel free just to say, “hey.”)

My blogging frequency has also decreased as I’ve spent more and more time researching, writing and editing longer pieces for audiences outside the small walled garden of the ‘infertility blogosphere.’  Coming2Terms was once an isolated island for women exiting fertility treatment and embarking on a life that doesn’t involve parenting. I’m happy there is a new generation of blogs (full list in my blogroll — let me know if yours is missing) fostering supportive conversations as well as more communities and forums for women who are not mothers by chance or circumstance.

READ  Your Sanity Matters Much More Than You Think

Makes me wonder how much shorter my own recovery time would have been had these resources been there a decade ago.

Social Awareness Moving To a Bigger Stage

Broader interest in fertility treatment myths and misconceptions and in women who have faced trauma, recovery and reinvention in the wake of failed fertility treatments is moving out of a niche audience and onto a larger stage. And with that movement is more interest — often from unexpected places. This past week a Princeton student reporter interviewed me for a health and policy article. There is great satisfaction in connecting with a new generation of young women. We talked about the hard knocks and life lessons that came with being part of Generation IVF and what it was like to ‘gut it out’ as a non-mom in society that glorifies motherhood.

My new passion lies in addressing the audience of 21-34 year-olds. Recent conversations demonstrate that they are uniquely suited to hear and contemplate (without motherhood-infused bias) the societal shift from the Women’s Movement to the Cult of Motherhood and all it entails. They are curious about the growth of the Fertility Industrial Complex and the co-dependency that exists today for women locked in a sense that they will be ‘less than’ if they don’t achieve successful pregnancy and motherhood. Fertility, as many of us have learned the hard way, is fickle and not always ‘fix-able.’

The message that we each possess great value and are ‘whole’ regardless of whether we are married or single, parents or not parents, that’s an important truth — particularly for girls and young women — to hear early and often.

READ  When Life is Interrupted By Failed Fertility

When I look back and recall the days of feeling lost, angry — downright misunderstood — there was great comfort in knowing I had a place where I could go to be heard and validated. I appreciate all Silent Sorority blog and book readers in ways that are hard to express. I know I would not be the fully formed ‘whole’ person I am today without a patient and forgiving community.  You gave me room to grow and the capacity to stimulate positive change.

And in the vein of how we’ve each helped each other here over the years, below are a few links to some best discussions tagged with lessons:

We Don’t Heal From Suffering We’re Changed By It

Casting Off the Chains of Infertility

You Sanity Matters Much More Than You Think

Kindness Comes in Many Forms

We Have to Believe It To See It

Feel free to link to your favorite posts.

For those still struggling to get your footing and looking for more tips and inspiration, check out the Life Without Baby Holiday Companion.